It’s no surprise that high on the list of people who suffered the most in 2020, were small business owners (followed by everyone who tuned in to watch Carol Baskin’s painful stint on Dancing with the Stars). As small shops started to shift their business models to combat the effects of COVID-19, we saw a resurgence of e-commerce and people having to shop local exclusively online.
It was nice to see that the local shops in our area were able to make that shift as well. On a whim, small shops switched gears in order to turn their tiny brick and mortar into a full-blown Shopify page on the World Wide Web. Along with the convenience of shopping from your couch (which also now doubles as a home office for a lot of us), many small shops now offer curb side pick-up, or free in-town delivery, which in most cases, makes shopping locally even far more appealing than Amazon Prime.
We all know the reasons we should be supporting local businesses this holiday season, but besides supporting the local economy, what’s in it for YOU?
Here are the top 3 reasons it actually benefits you to shop local:
1. Unique Shopping Experience
If you’re looking for unique, one of a kind gift ideas, small shops are your number one resource. Small shop owners have a passion for finding and creating the items you can’t find anywhere else, and will have everyone asking: “Where on earth did you get that?” Also, you never have to worry about buying a gift for somebody and running the risk that they already have it. You’ll look like a total rockstar for finding a gift that nobody even knew they needed. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up buying more Christmas presents for yourself than anyone else.
2. Top-Notch Customer Service
Small business owners thrive on providing an excellent customer experience, and that begins with customer service. Although a majority of businesses, large or small want to ensure that every customer is completely satisfied, when you shop local rest assured, you are going to receive the best possible service. Even the employees you’ll find working at a small shop often share the owner’s same passion and drive. They can also provide a more individual shopping experience, and really focus on each one of their customer’s needs. You’ll often notice that many of your favourite local shops, actually take the time to get to know their customers and make sure they are building a relationship that lasts long after the point of sale.
3. Local Pick-Up Saves You Money on Shipping
Who likes paying for shipping? If you said “yes”, then just shut your browser right now, because you’re clearly not my people. Paying for shipping is the worst, especially when you add something to your cart that you think is a killer deal just to find out that the shipping costs MORE than the item itself. (Um, no thank you). As mentioned above, most local small shops offer FREE curbside pick-up, and in most cases, you can even pick up your purchases the same day you order them. No more anxiously waiting for super delayed Canada Post deliveries (stupid COVID). I even know of a few local businesses that were doing free porch drop-off’s – now, THAT is a business owner who cares about their customers.
There were so many local shops in the Simcoe County area that I could have featured in this post. Did you know that we were surrounded by so many badass entrepreneurs? After making a list of my own personal favourites along with YOUR suggestions as well, I think I’ve come up with a pretty comprehensive list. These shops and makers have something for everybody. They offer unique items, some of which are even handmade, that will make you look like a hero on Christmas morning.
*Shhhh….a little birdie also told me that there might be a local love holiday giveaway being announced on a certain someone’s Instagram page later this week. I won’t mention any names, buuuut, it’s ME. (stay tuned!)
I’ve organized my picks by category, and also put together a holiday gift guide featuring some of my personal favourite items. So, let’s go shopping!
Home Decor & Kitchen Accessories
- Inhabit Interiors, Barrie
- Willow Lane Interiors, Barrie
- Everleigh Gardens, Barrie
- Halliday House, Cookstown
- Saturday Afternoons, Midland
- Leuk, Collingwood
- Woven Handmade, Collingwood
- Tiny Set Shack, Elmvale
- Vintage Rustic Decor, Innisfil
- Cookstown Antiques, Cookstown
- Long Way Home, Orillia
- Dotti Potts, Barrie
- Earth + Ember Pottery, Midland
- Rock Paper Poison, Orillia
- OhBeeHive, Barrie
- Refillery District, Orillia
- Knothouse Handmade Macrame, Barrie
- Charcuterie Boutique, Barrie to Toronto
- Jadore, Barrie
- The Hive, Honey Harbour
- Pompous Wood Co., Barrie
1 Whale Butter Dish l 2. Novelty Oven Mitt l 3. Reusable Un-Papertowel l 4. Market Bag l 5. Ceramic Mugs l 6. Bees Wax Food Wraps l 7. Water Glasses l 8. Stackable Food Storage Containers l 9. Charcuterie Board
Fashion & Accessories
- Sann & Droves, Barrie
- Boat Life Apparel, Barrie
- Shiny Soul Creations, Barrie
- Blueberry Moon, Barrie
- Tailored To You Creations, Barrie
- Wheatfield Knitwear, Innisfil
- MTN & Wave, Collingwood
- The Hive, Honey Harbour
- L&B Mama, Barrie
- Osgoode Company, Barrie
- Smash House Clothing, Barrie
Self-Care & Wellness
- Two Sisters Naturals, Midhurst
- Quench, Midland
- Happy Buddha Soap Co., Midland
- Nascent Naturals, Midland
- The Sun Emporium, Barrie
- Blueberry Moon Yoga, Barrie
- Cavana Ridge Spa, Severn
- Club Pilates, Barrie
- Float Tank, Barrie
- Heal My Trauma, (Yoga, Meditation & Life Coaching), Barrie
1 Bath Soak l 1. Shower Steamers 2. Clay Face Mask l 3. Body Oil l 3. Whipped Sugar Scrub l 4. Sunless Tanning Mouse and Mitt l 5. Macrame Car Diffusers l 6. Bath Bombs 7. Handmade Soap 8. Cavana Spa Gift Card 9. Essential Oils
Happy Christmas Shopping,